Strategies to manage mean comments

(11 Posts)
Biffsquiggled Fri 10-Mar-17 09:28:09

I've just got back from the school run and am feeling quite sad about a conversation I had with my 6year old daughter on the way there.

She told me that when she plays tag 2 of the girls always want her to be it. I told her she didn't have to if she didn't want to she could go and play something else. She said she would like to but these girls tell her she won't be invited to their birthday parties if she doesn't join in the game.

For context my daughter has some mobility issues which mean she will not be able to keep up and tag others in the game. The children in the class know this as it is obvious due to her treatments and equipment that she has at school. We also had problems last year with one of these girls pulling and hurting my daughters arm (again to get her to play with the girl when she didn't want to) which we dealt with by giving her strategies to use when this happened. This worked and it stopped.

But I'm at a loss as to how to deal with the verbal comments, and "mean" attitude. She is a sweet natured child and is puzzled by why people would say things like this, she is also not confrontational and will just go along with it even though she's not enjoying it. I worry that as she can appear different that she will have a lifetime of needing to manage these situations. I want her to be able to deal with it nicely but firmly.

Any suggestions would be really helpful, thanks.

Biffsquiggled Fri 10-Mar-17 13:18:00

Hopeful bump.

Astro55 Sun 12-Mar-17 00:39:41

Role play is the way forward - so it's out of her mouth before she's thought about it!

'No your it'
Or 'lets play X instead!'

TyneTeas Sun 12-Mar-17 00:43:10

This is a helpful book

www.amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Bullies-Bigmouths-So-called-Friends-Jenny-Alexander/0340911840?tag=mumsnetforum-21

ScarlettFreestone Sun 12-Mar-17 01:26:04

We've had this. I taught my DD to call their bluff:

"Well, that would be your choice but it would be very unkind of you. Do you realise that it's bullying?"

My experience is that challenging the behaviour and then walking off is very effective.

Children hear a lot about bullying being bad but they don't always realise that their unkind behaviour is bullying.

Biffsquiggled Sun 12-Mar-17 08:54:41

Thanks all, some really helpful ideas here.

We've used role play for other things (stranger danger for example) so will try it with this. Part of her difficulties is that she struggles with motor planning so by the time her brains worked out how to say/action her response it's too late. I think the role play aspect might help with this, as you say Astro55 out of her mouth before she's thought about it.

I've been looking for books to use but had focused more on those aimed specifically at children, Tynetees, will order that one today as it looks like it could be in use here for years!

ScarlettFreestone, one of the girls certainly doesn't realise it's bullying behaviour (they are only 5/6) and the other one doesn't get pulled up on it by her parents.

Thank you again, feel like I've something concrete to start with building up her confidence and learning to manage this.

ScarlettFreestone Mon 13-Mar-17 01:43:22

The other thing that might be worthwhile is a very quiet talk with the teacher.

They can then discuss this kind of thing at carpet time with the class and reinforce that it's not kind.

Biffsquiggled Mon 13-Mar-17 07:29:59

Thanks, it had crossed my mind but I've been trying to hold off raising it with the teacher as didn't want to make it look like more than it is. But we have parents evening this week, so might ask about how she's getting on socially and let them know what I've been hearing.

This is exactly why I wasn't looking forward to her starting school. I was a rather bolshy child and clearly remember hands on hips telling bully's off! My little one is just not so confident.

JigglyTuff Mon 13-Mar-17 09:14:08

I would definitely talk to school. It needs to be two-pronged - your DD can develop strategies but the school can keep an eye on it too.

DS has SN which include motor planning issues and he has been targeted over the years. Knowing that I and the school have his back has really helped build his confidence.

Biffsquiggled Mon 13-Mar-17 09:34:54

JigglyTuff, it breaks my heart to hear that your son has been targeted. So glad you've managed to increase his confidence with school input too, knowing you're backing him up must really help.

Think I'll need to be a bit more proactive about things and really nip it in the bud.

GooseyLoosey Mon 13-Mar-17 16:53:51

Threatening with birthday parties is a favourite with girls this age. I think I told dd just to say ok and walk away when she was that age. If the girls are so mean, who wants to go to their parties anyway.

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